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Madrid | Murray closes in on ‘virtual’ title

Andy Murray looks to be cruising his way to the Mutua Madrid Open title – that is the ‘virtual’ version being played on PlayStation Tennis World Tour – having reached the semi-finals following a 6-1 victory over Alexander Zverev.

Everyone has got their excuses, but the reason is I’m just better than them! Andy Murray

The event, organised following the cancelation of the Madrid Open itself when the tours were suspended in response to the coronavirus pandemic, has seen the Scot sweep through the field to become favourite for the Virtual title shrugging off suggestions that it was being fixed in his favour.

“I know it looks that way but I’m just much better than the other guys,” Murray, who beat Rafael Nadal in the group stage for the loss of just one point, said with a broad grin.

“Sometimes when things look too easy people like to make up conspiracies, but this is the reality unfortunately.

“When I played Rafa, he said I was practising too much and now Zverev had the wrong controller.

“Everyone has got their excuses, but the reason is I’m just better than them!”

Murray will face Diego Schwartzman for a place in the final, the diminutive Argentine dispatched Fabio Fognini 6-3 in his last eight match.

In the other half of the men’s draw David Goffin whitewashed Benoit Paire 6-0 and will take on Stefanos Tsitsipas a 6-2 winner over David Ferrer.

In the women’s draw, Britain’s other representative Johanna Konta suffered a devastating 6-0 quarter-final defeat to Caroline Wozniacki.

The ever popular, recently retired Wozniacki ,will take on Kiki Bertens who in turn defeated Belinda Bencic 6-4 and is the clear favourite to collect the women’s trophy.

Bertens admitted she hadn’t played the game before but is proving to be a dab hand at it.

“The thing is, I’d never played on a PlayStation before so I had no idea how it was working,” she revealed. “Once I received it I knew I had to practice. I felt also I had to because I have to defend my title, and I heard all the other girls were practising!”

The other semi-final will be contested between Sorana Cirstea and Fiona Ferro, both going through 7-6 against Bianca Andreescu and Dona Vekic respectively.

The charity initiative will donate €50,000 (£43,600) to the Madrid Food Bank to help reduce the social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The respective champions will receive €150,000 (£130,000) from which they will be able to decide how much they donate to their tour-colleagues worst affected by the sport’s shutdown.






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